Warners Solicitors

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Warners Solicitors
Limited Liability Partnership
Industry Legal
Founded Kent, UK (1785 (1785))
Headquarters Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Number of employees
Parent Warners Law LLP
Website www.warners-solicitors.co.uk

Warners Solicitors, the trading name of Warners Law LLP, is a specialist law firm based in Kent, with offices in Tonbridge[1] and Sevenoaks.[2] The firm has more than 100 employees.


Thomas Bowdler moved from Shrewsbury to settle in Tonbridge in 1783.[3] In 1785 Bowdler opened a solicitor's practice in the town.

In 1797 George Lingard took over the firm. Lingard bought 180 High Street Tonbridge from Frank Austen (Jane Austen’s uncle). This large house remained the main place of business for the firm until 2007.

William Gorham was taken on as a clerk in 1831, and after qualifying he became a partner. Gorham became clerk to the Medway Company, clerk to the Turnpike Trustees and secretary to the Tonbridge Water Works Company. He was a benefactor and supporter of the poor in Tonbridge and like his predecessor John Carnell served as a trustee for the parish and an overseer of the poor house.[4]

The poor house was provided by a trust set up by Sir Andrew Judd, benefactor of Tonbridge School, on land in Back Lane (now Bank Street). The poor house became redundant in 1840 when the Poor Law Union built a new large workhouse at Pembury (now Pembury Hospital). The building in Bank Street then became the National School.[5]

The first member of the Warner family to join the firm was George D. Warner, who became a partner in 1857. The firm became Carnell Gorham & Warner. The firm went through various name changes with the coming and going of different partners. However there was always a member of the Warner family in the firm. In 1955 the firm’s name changed to Warners and it has stayed the same since. The last member of the family to become a partner was Charles Warner in 1978.[6]

In 2007 the historical link with the old poor house was renewed as Warners took up residence in the old building. The building still retains the first two floors of the front elevation of the original poor house.


  1. ^ "Legal 500"
  2. ^ "Legal 500"
  3. ^ "Shropshire Archives"
  4. ^ "The Weald"
  5. ^ The Tonbridge of Yesterday by Arthur H. Neve published 1933
  6. ^ Warner family personal papers.

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